VIENNA, 29 September 2001 (OSCE) - The OSCE Permanent Council has decided to send a further 159 international officers to the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, to add to the 51 already deployed. This additional number will include a further 72 confidence-building monitors, plus 60 police advisers, 17 police trainers and 10 more international support staff.
Today's agreement, reached unanimously by the Organization's 55 participating States, marks the fourth time that the Permanent Council has increased the strength of the OSCE Spillover Monitor Mission to Skopje this year.
Commenting on the OSCE's decision, Ambassador Liviu Bota, Chairman of the OSCE Permanent Council, said: "This decision will contribute considerably to the international efforts underway to ensure that peace and stability continues to be maintained, after the successful NATO-led mission to gather weapons from the armed groups. It also reflects the OSCE's commitment to foster democratic development in the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia."
The OSCE monitors have been mandated to contribute to the maintenance of stability and security in the country, as well as to the building of confidence among the population. Their tasks will include to report regularly on: the security situation in the northern border areas of the country; illicit arms trafficking; the humanitarian situation - such as the return of refugees and internally displaced persons and trafficking in human beings; the situation in sensitive areas; and on any incidents and recurrence of hostilities.
The role of the police advisers will be to assist in ensuring a phased and co-ordinated redeployment by the national police force. The police trainers will assist in the implementation of the Police Academy project in the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia.
The mandate of the additional staff members is limited to 31 December 2001. The costs of the strengthening of the OSCE Mission will be covered by a supplementary budget of slightly over four million euros, which was also approved by the Permanent Council today.
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